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Lecture highlights impact of tourism in Oxford

Red-brick streets, small businesses and a constant flurry of people are all things that made Oxford, Ohio the number one college town as cited by Forbes in 2016.

Jessica Greene, director of Enjoy Oxford, the local destination marketing organization, spoke about the implications of travel in Oxford on Tuesday, Nov. 7. Her lecture, "Sleepy Towns or Thriving Community? How Tourism impacts Oxford, Ohio," focused on what keeps Oxford from being a "sleepy town."

"From our very inception, we have been a college town," Greene said. "There are not many towns like that."

Greene went on to describe the different markets that bring in business to Oxford. The two biggest markets outside of Miami University parents for Oxford are youth sports groups and educational, religious or fraternal organizations.

"In our market, the leisure market, the weekends are the busiest and the middle of the week is slow," Greene said.

The nine months out of the year that students are on campus bring in some of the most business for Oxford. With family weekend, homecoming and other events hosted by Miami, the uptown establishments usually see the most business.

However, there are some challenges to being a college town.

Recently, the uptown restaurant Kona Bistro shut its doors for good. They cited the university's attempts to lure students back to campus by providing more events with free food.

Cheri Corcoran, owner of the Apple Tree, explained that most of her business comes when the students are here.

"When the students leave campus, business definitely drops off, but we see some business with events like Make it Miami, and youth soccer tournaments" Corcoran said.

Being a lifelong resident, Corcoran believes there have been improvements.

"I've been [in Oxford] for a long time, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger," Corcoran said.

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Aryn May, manager at Bruno's Pizza, has experienced some of the same situations in her time.

"Obviously when you remove so many students from a place, business is going to go down, but it's a great opportunity for us to focus on the locals," said May.

Enjoy Oxford puts on a variety of events throughout the year for people of all ages to enjoy. Be sure to check out their calendar for the next event happening in Oxford.